The United States has condemned the secret trials and prison sentences handed down by a Burmese court to eight Shan political leaders.
In a statement Monday evening, Deputy State Department Spokesman Adam Ereli criticized the harsh sentences handed down on November 2. Hkun Htun Oo, Chairman of the United Nationalities Alliance, Burma's foremost coalition of pro-democracy ethnic parties, was sentenced to two life sentences plus 53 years. Six other leaders also received multiple life sentences.
The U.S. spokesman said the sentences prove the junta's so-called "Roadmap to Disciplined Democracy" is neither credible nor inclusive.
In recent years, Burmese government officials have stressed their commitment to turning Burma into a disciplined democracy.
The United States is calling on the regime to release its political prisoners immediately and unconditionally.